BACK in 1981, a young Stephen Fry was part of the Cambridge Footlights group on the Fringe which won the first ever Edinburgh Comedy Award, then known as the Perrier Award.

Now back in Edinburgh as part of the International Festival with his show Mythos, it was announced yesterday that Fry will be returning to the Fringe in a way as he is to present this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

Along with last year’s winner Rose Matafeo, Fry will present the awards – sponsored by the Dave channel – on Saturday, August 24, with the nominations being released this coming Wednesday.

The best comedy show will gain the top prize of £10,000, while there are £5000 prizes for best newcomer and for the winner of the Panel Prize.

Fry is performing Mythos, adapted from his own book of that name, at the Festival Theatre from August 20 to 25. Matafeo is appearing in a repeat production of Horndog which won her the top award last year, at the Pleasance Courtyard from August 20 to 24.

While Fry’s status as national treasure is long established, according to yesterday’s announcement Matafeo is having a great start to her career.

They stated: “Rose has had a sensational year since winning Best Comedy Show last year. She has just completed her first starring role in a film, Baby Done, and has also starred in Australian TV series, Squinters alongside Tim Minchin (Best Newcomer 2005), Sam Simmons (Best Comedy Show winner 2015) and Steen Raskopoulos (Best Newcomer nominee 2014). Her new sitcom Starstruck with BBC and HBO has been announced and there is much more yet to come.”

Awards producer Nica Burns said: “Rose is well on her way to international stardom. Stephen Fry is an international star – actor, author, wit – across all the media: stage, radio, television and film. We’re delighted to welcome them back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the launchpad for both their careers.”